Steelers WR Martavis Bryant wants trade and 3 teams make sense
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant reportedly wants a trade after a sluggish start to the 2017 season.
Bryant missed all of the 2016 season while serving a suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy and has now missed 20 games total during his career to suspensions. However, when he’s been on the field and healthy, he’s proven to be an explosive playmaker with a penchant for the long touchdown.
Unfortunately for Bryant, that hasn’t really materialized since his return and there have been some clear issues earning back the trust of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the organization. And that appears to be why he’s requesting the trade.
It’s difficult to say exactly what Bryant, a former fourth-round pick, might be worth on the trade market. He’s unquestionably talented, but the baggage he carries ultimately impacts his value significantly.
However, in looking at depth charts around the league, there are three teams that stand out as potential trade destinations. So let’s take a look at how he might fit with each.
How Martavis Bryant would fit with the Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills are coming off a bye week in the thick of a race for the AFC East with the New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. All four teams are within at least a game of the Patriots and the Bills could certainly use some additional playmaking firepower for the stretch run.
The Bills are 27th in scoring offense and 31st in total offense to this point, and the genesis of those struggles is int he passing game. No wide receiver on the Bills roster has more than 10 catches through five games.
In fact, running back LeSean McCoy (27 catches) and tight end Charles Clay (20 catches) have been far and away the two most prolific pieces in the Bills passing attack. Luckily, the Bills’ No. 1-ranked scoring defense has kept them competitive.
Adding Bryant would add an element of explosiveness to the offense they lost when they traded Sammy Watkins and being in a playoff race with plenty of targets coming his way has to sound pretty good to Bryant. The holdup, would the Steelers want to trade him to an AFC team in the playoff hunt?
How Martavis Bryant would fit with the New York Giants
This one is pretty simple. The New York Giants have been ravaged by injury at wide receiver.
They lined up a motley crew Sunday night against the Denver Broncos (and pulled off an upset) after four receivers went down with an injury the week prior. Sterling Shepard and Brandon Marshall will eventually return to bolster the passing game, but Odell Beckham, Jr.’s season is over and Bryant could help replace some of the explosiveness that they lost on the outside when he fractured his ankle.
How Martavis Bryant would fit with the Chicago Bears
This one is particularly intriguing because of Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. The potential to build a long-term bond with a young franchise quarterback in a market like Chicago has to be interesting to Bryant and the Bears have also had injury issues at wide receiver.
Bryant could team with Trubisky to be a significant part of their offensive gameplan for years to come. So, even though they’re not in a position to contend right now, it’d certainly make sense.
What’s best for Martavis Bryant and the Steelers?
In an ideal world, they’d work through whatever issues they have and he’d stay. Because when he and Antonio Brown are both at their best, that passing attack seems impossible to stop.
However, assuming that doesn’t happen, it should really come down to whether or not the Steelers would be willing to trade him within the AFC and whether Bryant values success in the short-term or a chance to build something more permanent.
The Bills give him the best chance to win now, but do you really want to play in Buffalo and for how long?. The Giants give him a chance to star in the biggest market, but Beckham will eventually return and he’ll be forced into a reduced role.
However, what the Bears have to offer is a chance to be a star for the next 5-7 years. And the Steelers should have no concerns about sending him to a rebuilding team in the NFC so long as the price was right.